Many factors influence the long-term outcome of kidney transplantation, which is defined very schematically by patient death or renal dysfunction leading to graft loss. The most important of these factors is most likely the quality of the transplant itself, with kidneys from living donors showing a positive impact, while kidneys from expanded criteria donors show deleterious impacts. Various clinicopathological scores exist to predict mid- to long-term outcomes and avoid the transplantation of kidneys displaying inferior results. The key factors related to the recipient include their age as well as disease recurrence, HLA matching, HLA immunization, ethnic background, time on dialysis, and cardiovascular comorbidities. Renal function, defined based on estimated GFR and/or proteinuria values, is a result of all these factors. Delayed graft function has a detrimental long-term impact, as does the level of renal function impairment either in stable condition or in case of progressing dysfunction. Finally, although current immunosuppression regimes are highly efficient in preventing acute rejection, the burden of specific (diabetes, nephrotoxicity) and nonspecific (infection and cancer) side effects has significant negative long-term consequences that may well be worse in the future because of the increasing ages of both donors and recipients. The development of safer immunosuppression strategies is therefore crucial to improve long-term outcomes.
Keywords: antibody-mediated rejection; cardiovascular mortality; delayed graft function; donor-specific antibodies; graft function; kidney donor.
© 2013 Steunstichting ESOT. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.